Preventing a shortage of skilled specialists: 18 percent of the employees are apprentices
One journeyman, one apprentice – it's not such a high proportion, but at 20 percent, AGRAVIS Technik BvL GmbH nonetheless has a far higher percentage of apprentices than the average for AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG. The proportion of apprentices at AGRAVIS is very high compared to other companies. It has been relatively constant at 9 percent for many years.
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- Stephan Hellkuhl's award demonstrates how good the apprenticeships are at AGRAVIS Technik BvL GmbH. He was awarded a money prize as the best student in the guild at the promotional award ceremony of the Kreishandwerkerschaft (district craftsmen's association) and the Kreissparkasse (district savings bank).
The proportion of apprentices at the Technik locations is as much as twice as high, 18 percent on average. The reason for this is the high number of apprentices training as mechatronics technicians for agricultural and construction machinery. This is an attractive career, which the Technik locations like to spotlight. Take AGRAVIS Technik BvL GmbH, for example. It has a workforce of 220. 45 of these are just at the start of their career – they are commercial and industrial apprentices learning wholesale and retail sales, office administration, mechanics or mechatronics. The workshops and offices of the BvL locations are also bustling with student interns throughout the year. If they show talent and enthusiasm, these interns will become future apprentices. Women are also very welcome in the technical professions.
Interest in the profession
"We work closely with local schools, not just with regard to student internships," explains Managing Director Frank Fohrmann. Fohrmann and his colleagues strive to stimulate young people's interest in the professions offered by the Technik locations early on, with activities such as the Girls' Day or plant visits for whole classes. "We do not offer an apprenticeship place unless the candidate has already completed an internship with us," stresses Fohrmann. This is important for both sides. The company knows that the young person fits in, has the necessary prerequisites, and above all is interested in the profession. The candidate knows that he or she wants to join this profession, which makes it unlikely that they will drop out of the apprenticeship.
Up to 60 percent remain
Apprentices are trained at every AGRAVIS Technik BvL GmbH location – fewer at the smaller ones and more at the larger ones. There have not so far been any problems filling all the places and year groups. "We always have enough applicants," says a delighted Fohrmann – primarily including those who remain available after their journeyman's exam. "We would of course like to keep many of them, because we train them for our own needs," explains Fohrmann. Further qualification options are also on offer. The proportion of apprentices who stay after passing their journeyman's exam is 50 to 60 percent.
Whether in the office or the workshop, experienced staff throughout the company invest time in the youngsters who will later become their colleagues, and share their knowledge with them. The commercial apprentices get a taste of all the different areas and the industrial apprentices also rotate a little, also learning about the spare parts warehouse, for example. The company works actively to prevent a shortage of skilled specialists. Staff are happy to take on the extra work required to support an apprentice. "However, we keep to certain limits. There are around six apprentices, one to two per apprenticeship year, at each location. At any one time, some of them are in school," explains Fohrmann. Each apprentice is assigned to a journeyman who introduces him or her to the work.
One apprentice realised in the spring just how much an apprenticeship with AGRAVIS Technik BvL GmbH pays off: Stephan Hellkuhl was awarded a money prize as the best student in the guild at the promotional award ceremony of the Kreishandwerkerschaft (district craftsmen's association) and the Kreissparkasse (district savings bank).
AGRAVIS Technik BvL GmbH locations: Meppen, Ascheberg, Bersenbrück, Borken, Coesfeld, Emsbüren, Gronau, Lengerich, Olfen